June 30, 2021
August 8th 1918 was the Black Day of the German Army, admitted General Ludendorff, as British tanks rolled unopposed through Amiens. Soon afterwards, he would suffer a nervous breakdown (as not revealed in this memoir), while praising the invincible troops he was still ordering into action, who were actually drunk out of their minds on schnapps (as also not revealed in this memoir), if they had even bothered to come back from leave, that is.
Thus it was, in the last shadow-boxing days of the German Empire, as even Ludendorff’s unflappable boss, Paul von Hindenburg, told the Kaiser that there were no options left, but to hear what the Americans might have to say about it - they, who were now refereeing the match, while still (increasingly) playing on the field.
I suppose there is some kind of fascination in reviewing this weird pantomime, with the high and mighty still posturing in their splendid uniforms that would so soon go on the bonfire. And in the ranks of a particular Bavarian regiment, an unremarkable little corporal, trying to recover from a gas-attack, who would presently team-up with Ludendorff in the failed Munich putsch of 1923. Heigh-ho!